hafacenturyncounting

Motivated by a lack of material.

Dying Would Have Been Easy

Another day, another reminder that I have lost a child. Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t need reminders, but that does not stop them. Actual or imagined sought after of spontaneous…they happen. Denying them will not make them go away either.

AS I take you to the place that never leaves me, I see the doctors’ faces. I see the chaplain and the social worker. I knew this was bad, I knew they were going to tell us something about what type of treatment or medication would now be needed. I knew the road back was going to be a challenging one, BUT I also KNEW we could do it! We were a strong viable determined family.

The words came, “unfortunately” was all my mind would wrap itself around. In an instant it said,” You are not going to fuckin tell me my kid is gone…” That is EXACTLY what he said. My husband fell to his knees on one side and Jay’s girlfriend, Jessica sobbed and dropped on the other… I thought,” This is NOT happening, it cannot be real, I want to scream, what am I going to do, I have to hold up Wes, I have to hold up Jessica, Oh God what am I going to do…I can’t breathe, I must breathe… I tried to hug them both, I needed to be hugged. I needed this moment NOT to be happening.

There it is. In that moment if someone, something, anyone, anything had presented I would have agreed to take his place, without a second thought. For in that instant there was more pain than one could imagine being physically possible. Yet I felt it. I knew in that instant I did NOT want to feel it anymore. However, as the moments continued, I knew I would. It hurt so much, the pain was so deep, how was it possible to feel all of this and survive? As I ask these questions and realize that I am still here…surviving…I know that dying would have been easy. I am NOT talking suicide. I am talking a simple change in the universe, an intervention from God Himself.

Through the years, I have battled, some days it seems that the battle is progressing. I cannot say getting better, for I always will wish for the impossible and I always KNOW it will not transpire. Hope left my very existence for a time and while it was gone, I never could put my finger exactly on it, but I knew it was missing. Once I realized IT had left me, I opened the door to let it back in my life, but without an invitation in. I did not clear a path, motion to it, or say the words to welcome. I simply allowed for it to do whatever IT chose to. Like what happened to me on January 14, 2018, it was/is outside of my control.

One of my followers read another post and share a story about themself. While I appreciate the comments, I don’t think I was clear. It motivated me to do this piece. I want it known that the ending of my life while I believe would have been easier than losing my child; I also know that particular part of my existence is as out of my hands, as his life was. When I am told I am not alone, I do realize this; but I want my reader(s) to know most of the time the feeling of alone and isolated, is accompanied with the pain, and it is that pain that parents/mothers like me want to be devoid of. However, loss of that pain comes with a high price. It means you feel like you have to somehow escape the source. In this case the source is my lost son. I would never make the choice to forget him. Instead, I make the choice to remember him, to remember the love, and bask in it. And YES, it hurts, YES, it is painful, but the universe did not offer me ANY choice so I have to live with it the best way I can for the time I am still here. That is why I say, The Dying Would Have Been Easy. Treasure your lives.

Wishful Thinking

Played like a beautiful piece of music, or should I say like the beautiful music I sent to him. Just because I could or I simply could NOT make up my mind what I wanted to do with him/us.

This was not done with malice, though it could be considered self-serving. On those summer evenings, while we were miles apart we’d talk for hours. At first it was the meeting of the minds, familiar quotes of Shakesphere or Socrates. We soon moved from one type of art to another. I am reminded of a scene in Tombstone where Doc Holiday calls out an outlaw as he played Nocturne 19 by Chopin. What may have seemed like a part of a dating ritual, without being considered dating was a carefully thought out plan, a plan meant to captivate and control. Before long he would be in love AND he would think it was ALL his idea. The truth be told a man chases a woman, until she catches him.

What do you tell your people about me? Your people, your family that is close enough to know your secrets… Your friends… the ones close enough to know your flaws along with your wants and desires. When you have a free moment or when you make moments free and I cross your mind, what do you tell yourself.

I take your calls, does that mean no one else is calling?

Then there is the trust factor. It takes time and exposure for trust to take hold, if we are being logical. In this case we possessed neither. Yet, you trusted me anyway. I know your secrets, hopes, and desires. You needed someone to share them with and I was but a click away.

It may not seem like it now, but you were lucky. You still had presence of mind in spite of what you thought you were feeling. When I played my “trump card” you withdrew. It was like someone gave you smelling salts, or you just came out from under the ether. As hard as it may seem now, it is far better that it ended before I totally took over. Perhaps that was part of your thought process, when it came time to let go… something inside of you said, ” Wait a minute, hold on.”

Now you are left with nothing that resembles what you thought you had, what I tried to convince you was real…but you are whole. That is something you likely would not have been, had you let me complete my cycle. You now have time to relive and go over the mistakes and miscues. That is all you have time for, because you have to get back out there and continue your search. The right one is waiting for you, looking for YOU to arrive.

We all make concessions in our quest for the right one. How many, how extensive, those concessions are depends on how much finding the individual means to you.

I’m So Empty I Could Burst

It occurred to me a few nights ago. As the holiday rapidly approaches, those who are happy only get happier. The others, the ones like me, vacillate between hoping it will come and go versus it not coming. This challenge is one I prepare for in recent times but never have been able to get it quite right, at least NOT to my satisfaction.

As someone who has lived through decades of holidays, one’s memory carries one through. Traveling back and forth through the milestones, only stopping at the ones that bring about the sense of being overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with happy, overwhelmed with anticipation, overwhelmed with sorrow. The others fly by like pages of an open book on a windy day. Yet you need something, you need to feel some little thing.

It seems possible to recreate the good, we will fix that same favorite meal, we will play those old familiar songs and we will give way to the memories that brought us this immense joy then with hopes we can sample that same joy today.

Reliving the sorrow is seemingly an effortless act, you simply need to BE. That moment when it happened, the pain in your heart, and of course what the source of this unhappiness was. Ideally you want to come away from this place, but it is NOT so easy. There is a mark on your heart, and it is NOT fading.

Numb and lifeless, but startled back into the now you go along, you perform as though everything IS alright. No one around seems to be the wiser, but in actuality they are choosing to believe you are strong, strong enough to withstand all. You play your role; because they like you, need to be able see that which they believe. There you sit in a room full of others, but you are isolated and no one even notices.

These empty feelings, this sense of being alone, give you a vastness that overtakes your soul. The emptiness is like air in a balloon as it fills up, becoming tighter until it can take no more and then it bursts.

Yesterday I Needed A Hug

Yesterday I needed a hug. I was feeling a bit blue. I was not extraordinarily sad, but I needed to feel like someone cared about me. Me in all my weirdness, my idiosyncrasies coupled with my kindnesses and goods…I just needed some simple basic love. That love had to come from someone that did not have any ulterior motives. Where do you get that kind of love, love that is unconditional… family. In my case, in my state at that time my son came to mind. He was close and I could go see him give him a hug and go on. So I called him because he was at work, I was on my way to the gym which is minutes from his job, I said to myself proudly,” He’s the boss he probably can take a minute out to see and hug his mom.” I was going to tell him, “I want to stop by to see you for a sec.” and when I did see him just hug him and send him on his way. Like I used to when he was a boy… I called and there was no answer, it went to voicemail. I called a second time so he would see I called more than once and get back to me. I sat in the car for a few minutes to give him a chance to get back to me but he did not. I decided to go inside and do my workout.

I completed the workout and was in the massage chair. Now there is a television monitor in the room, but you have to plug in to hear. They do have closed captioning for some programs but not all. This particular infomercial was about a mountain and trail runner. I generally do not watch most of these, some are more interesting to me than others. I find myself drawn to surfer and surfing more so. However, when this came on I saw the name/word “Jaybird“. That caught my attention! I smiled a half smile and decided to watch. I wanted to know what “Jaybird” was/was about. Now because my baby boy’s name is Jay and we all called him Jaybird, there was a sense of irony to me. Jay was an athlete, he was a runner and hit the gym daily many times twice a day. I could not help thinking,” Why here, why now, why “Jaybird”? It was a very interesting and colorful piece. The subject was a female and many scenes had me in awe of her.

As I walked to my car, I felt the urge to talk to Jay, so I did. I spoke aloud to him, I felt him answer, while I also told myself, ” You are actually giving these answers”. I am not psychic, my connections to people who have transitioned to the other side are minimal at best. As I felt these responses from Jay, I could not help feeling the skeptic in me arise. I allowed my soul to be soothed by the thought/idea anyway. I then drove by my eldest son’s job. I did not see his car in his parking space. It was lunchtime so I figured well I tried, no harm, no foul.

A couple hours later my eldest did call me. He apologized for not being able to take my call, but he was out of town in a meeting with a client… I told him it was no big deal. I will tell him what I actually wanted, and I will tell him about the events that surrounded that call. I did not share that with him on the call because I did not want him to feel bad. My sons are very good, sensitive, and protective of their mom. That transcends time, space, and obviously this planet as well. What I felt I needed and what I got came from where I did not expect, but I am so very grateful for the hug that came from heaven. Thank you, Lord.

Happy Endings

Are there such things? What does the title say to you? I think to figure the endings out we must start with the beginnings. In the spirit of where many of us are let’s address this as a result verses a consequence. On the road to connecting with a partner/ companion/ love interest we encounter many obstacles.

Our age group being a huge factor. We can lie to ourselves and say, “age aint nuthin but a number” but in actuality age is far more than a number. With one’s time on the planet we gain certain things by virtue of mere exposure. Some of these things we keep, cherish and utilize. Others we carry like heavy baggage waiting to be unloaded.

For me treading these “murky waters” of senior dating clearly (forgive the pun) there have been far more failures than successes. I am being kind; for the plain truth is they have all been failures. This is not a blame game either. I do believe they have been simple mismatches, well at least the majority of them. Yet with that in mind, it is still not easy to tell someone This is NOT working. People take that statement personally in the most negative of ways and that is NOT always the case.

Like I said earlier we need to examine the beginnings. I have experienced some seemingly great starts. Good conversationalists, intelligent, attractive, tall… most of the ones that have not worked out, I am thankful have ended in very early stages. Not a lot of time, effort, or emotion vested. With this particular “relationship” type things usually just drop off, the calls become less and less until there are none, you look up and months have gone by, and soon you realize YOU have gone on. Then there are the “ghostings” a bit more of a sensitive subject and covered briefly in prior piece. I will again state sometimes there is just nothing to say, no case to be made, but when it happens the party being ghosted does not understand. Why not just take it as… if this is all they have for me there truly is nothing that needs to be said. However, we are human; rejection does not sit well with most of us, we are curious and sensitive. There IS the need to know “why”. This writer is challenged by this very thing as well. I have to say I should follow my own advice in these cases. I am certain there will be more not-so-pleasant breaks. I also feel like we have to be subjective in the way we view what a happy ending if. Sometimes you are lucky you get the one you want, and everything is good. Other times you do not walk away with the intended party and that too is a good thing. Just a couple of brief examples and in either case, the respective endings can still be happy.

Because I Live Here

On the heels of Earth Day, one may find themselves in activist mode. It certainly seems that way for me. I look around the community, my street and I see signs of folks that are selfish and unconcerned. That distresses and annoys me. I remember a time, not-so-long ago when the airways were flooded with warnings and pleas for US/Americans NOT to litter. While in many places I travel to as well as where I live littering is NOT a huge problem one has to be aware that it wouldn’t take much for the scales to tip the other way.

Why should one take time out to concern themselves with such a matter? I will tell you as I tell strangers and neighbors alike when they see me picking up trash “out and about“; simply, “Because I live here.” Look I do NOT enjoy picking up after others, but the flip side would be to let the trash and debris sit there or blow around. It takes away from the aesthetic of the area and it sends other offenders the message it is okay to toss their trash out in this area too. Thus, the problem becomes unsightly and unbearable, when one can provide a quickfix. We have to feel responsible for the place we live in, not just our small little space on a street, but in the grand scheme of things, for the planet. My hope is not just to get others involved in the clean-up but that the perpetrators will simply stop adding to the breakdown of civil awareness and civic duty. They will see first-hand that someone does actually care even if they don’t. The human subconscious is a peculiar thing, guilt, remorse and responsibility can work together in order to produce the desired effect and/or being. Now this may not work everywhere, it may not be for everyone, but so far it is doing what I want to do for now.

One cannot be sporadic or easily discouraged, this is a battle which will not be won overnight. However, the cause is worthy, and everyone benefits. Be it your neighborhood, the office you work at, or a public park; these places are ALL a part of the community of the planet Earth, and after it is all said and done, we live here too.

But If I’m Honest

His head dropped when he saw her now. She seemed unaffected and indifferent. However, not so long ago he looked forward to the chance encounters, even though he timed her moves. But if honesty can enter this discussion, he’d have to admit she really had not changed. The only thing that changed was they actually had a conversation and they knew each other’s names.

It is not always received well, one insinuating themself into the life/space of another. I think it is easier accepted if there is a not-so-nice interaction, but if one is in the most remote fashion civil, there are individuals who basically take the kindnesses and run. What I mean is all they need is a crack in an open door and they proceed with not sense of caution. These are the same individuals who will look/be butthurt when they are stopped in their tracks.

Many of us were taught as children to be respectful and polite. Then there are the others. Unpolished and unrefined their experience is often self-taught; this does NOT always translate well. Truth is there are people you should just leave alone. That is not saying they are bad/stand-offish/mean. That only says you have to make informed decisions about who and how you approach. There are people who are just EXTROVERTS. They enjoy people and interacting with. What one has to do is NOT mistake a polite greeting as an invitation in. Extroverts attract us; their magnetic personalities make all of us feel like it is not so bad to just be out there, because what comes easy to them, they manage to make appear easy to us. The INTROVERTS may not have the outward appearance of being shy but read the body language. If they turn away rather than speak, the folded arms. They do NOT want you in their space, if they did/do they WILL invite you in. This is by-no-means a clear, concise character study, just things I have seen.

Personally, I am neither an introvert nor an extrovert, defined. I believe I can and do come off a bit (we will call it this for arguments sake) distant. I also believe I do not send mixed messages. I speak and keep moving. In my mind, in my world, that is an example of what my dad characterized so many decades ago by saying Even two dogs on the street have the decency to bark when they see one another… a greeting should be a given. I do not want you to be upset with me by what YOU perceive as implied. I do want you embrace the obvious. Here is where the honesty comes in. If you pay attention and read the signs, you will get an idea of who you are approaching. You will be able to determine how to approach…or not. Finally, you will begin to realize if you had taken a moment or two more and paid attention, you would have made a better/different decision. If you are honest, you will see who is to blame for that butthurt.

Do You Think We’re Sexy?

Remember that song by Rod Stewart…”Do You Think I’m Sexy?” How many of us danced to, sang aloud, whispered the lyrics into the ears of a lover and even laughed at the idea certain individuals would even suggest the mere idea came to their head? Let’s be honest here sexy is not just a look, it IS a state of mind. Back in 1978 many of us were teens and young adults; we were in our most perfect forms and at the height of our sexuality…of course we thought we were sexy!

I recall having a discussion with a “sister/friend about a Human Sexuality class she was taking in college. I remember being absolutely repulsed when she described a film/video the class watched in which seniors were interviewed. Plus, they not only discussed sex at their age, but there were also visuals. I could not imagine why people that age would want to have sex. My immature mind could NOT wrap around the idea of folks with their particular type bodies would want to see one another naked, let alone be aroused by such a sight. Keep in mind I had seen a grand total of ZERO naked seniors. My opinions were solely based on what I could see in their respective faces and therefore I figured the bodies had to have a similar look.

Fast Forward: here I am now that person that I imitated throwing up at the thought of, facing the question of sexuality. We must couple the idea of physical beauty, with physical limitations. Pregnancy has gone from being covered up like a nun (which was in direct contrast to the condition) to painted and bared bellies. Perhaps a better question for “US” would be… Do you think we’re sexual? The answer is as varied as we are, but once again our numbers draw attention to us. Senior dating sites are as prevalent as ones focusing on the young. Why is that you may think…short answer is because we as human beings still want to connect and to be connected. As life progresses things happen, spouses/partners leave us either through death or through divorce. Then we are left to do what our very nature tells us we must do…find a mate/companion/love.

Sex is everywhere on one level or another and that is NOTHING new. Yet as we move forward and evolve, we cannot help noticing the changes in ourselves, our contemporaries, our environment and society’s attitudes. I have said this time and again as I have written in this blog we “baby-boomers” are a group that none of the likes have been seen, we are trendsetters by virtue of existence. Our numbers alone call for recognition as we draw attention to what it looks like to live, grow up, and age in a modern society with instant access to record and catalog it all. Have we changed our minds about sex and being sexy? I say,” YES absolutely”. When you see a muscular young man at the gym or a toned young woman at the beach in a skimpy swim suit, do you judge them or do you fondly recall when that was YOU or someone you would set your sights on? Don’t be creepy or forgetful, it can be easy to fall into those pigeon-holes. Do you think we’re sexy…HELL YEAH WE ARE!

Redefined

Things aren’t like they used to be. No surprises in that statement but making that statement and NOT truly recognizing what is being said sets one up for a bit of confusion. At one time or another one may find themselves in what used to be a familiar situation, and although one might be compelled into thinking the same strategy, plan, method would still work, you must resist that train of thought. Instead, you must embrace the idea that change has likely taken place and you must approach from a different angle.

It was an innocent looking encounter, if you were not paying attention. When we are in close proximity to one another and couple that with the fact human beings are social, there is nothing extraordinary about a chance meeting on a bench. What isn’t so innocent is when one gets too close too quickly. Everyone is not easy to get to know. One must be mindful of this, or one could “scare” the other individual away. I am a people watcher just by nature and I was given a unique opportunity to see the failed attempt to become familiar unfold. I was not privy to the conversation itself; I saw body language and facial expression. I do not believe anything inappropriate was said or done. I summed the entire episode up as one individual simply not wanting to be bothered. In this situation as the other person persisted it then became more personal and now took on the tone of, she was NOT interested in talking to this man specifically. Sometimes you have to know when to stop, sometimes you have to know when to simply move on. Cut your losses, live to fight another day…but it was clear this fellow was applying methods that worked a long time ago. He was lucky, from my vantage point, that he did not get an old-fashioned slap. The fatal blow to what was left of his ego. Yet, I do believe because his intended target was not flat out mean, he will try again.

Don’t get me wrong here, there is something to be said for persistence. The only thing I can say is the desired effect was NOT achieved. How much time do you invest in the tried and true? When do you come to grips with this is not working…? Some goals are unattainable, we must learn that “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” does NOT have to be our mantra. Instead shoot for, “I’ll try something new”. Hit the gym, don’t cut your long hair, take that painting class…. Our advancing years do not always indicate we are increasingly limited. Make this your venture into becoming…REDEFINED

Once A “Playa-Playa”

Walking through the parking lot of a noted senior living complex, I spotted beautiful and bright red Mustang. I could not tell you the year, but it was an eye-catcher. It was the kind of car; younger men want for obvious reasons. It is the same car that law enforcement has been “rumored” to target for speeding and insurance companies govern themselves accordingly. Back to my walk…I noticed more than the red paint job. The car was adored with chrome. The rims were red and chrome, there were chrome door guards, for a moment I was propelled into my past and I somewhat laughingly took a look for chrome mud flaps (there weren’t any thankfully I may have not been able to contain myself). I did however see inside the chrome chain license plate frame “OG”. I dropped my head and had to look away. I was being judgmental, and I could not get a handle on it. There it was, my mind was in a whirlwind…”Oh my goodness, get real, poor guy is delusional, Dude you live in a senior complex!” Now I am still walking but obviously looking at that car. I saw the vanity plates, the car is a convertible, his side view mirrors, and the shaker hood are all chrome. Does he want to be seen or what? I have seen this guy a few times. I never recognize him without his car and when I see the car I basically “tah-tah” him off with thoughts of the level of ridiculousness he must possess to drive around at his age like that. Sometimes I think what he must have been like when he was young…. He is not alone.

There are a few wannabes and maybe actual ” once were’s” who are now “has beens” in the complex. They walk around with cigarettes in hand, they wear various hats or caps, mostly to hide the receding hairlines or the bald/balding heads. They dress in a fashion that is a cross between gardener/construction worker/”tennis-shoe pimp”…you gotta see for yourself. If they are not sitting on the bench waiting for the local free-to-senior’s omnibus running their mouths, they are standing about 100 feet from the security doors finishing a smoke or about to begin one. Gone are their glory days. No more women, no more fights, just reminiscing the days gone by, but with the arrogance (in appearance) that they could still do their thing. It is a funny thing to watch; beings like these guys attempting to be charming and humble. Characteristics they are completely unfamiliar with. I applaud the effort silently, speak in accordance, and keep walking at a fast pace so not to give the impression there is time or room for conversation. What do you suppose these OG/Playa-Playa’s have to say? I imagine it often covers what they used to do and what they “think” they still can do. Whatever it may be I would say it IS indicative of their mindsets and that mindset tells them who they are…for all time.

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